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Math Made Easy: 7 preparation tips to ace CAT 2022

CAT 2022: Practising time management is a must for completing the exam paper, says an Apeejay professor



Editor’s Note: Math Made Easy is a new series by Apeejay Newsroom where experts share study tips and fun ways to learn the subject. This is part I of the series.

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a management aptitude exam that evaluates mathematical and reasoning skills. But preparing for one of the toughest exams in the country can come with many challenges. If you are gearing up for the upcoming CAT exam in November to secure admission into a premier B-school, we have some suggestions for you from an Assistant Professor.

“First and foremost, all CAT aspirants need to plan a schedule to be able to focus on all aspects related to the exam,” says Dr Monika Mogla, Assistant Professor in Commerce, Apeejay College of Fine Arts Jalandhar.

“The syllabus for CAT is based on what you learnt in high school. The only thing is that you have to be good at time management. An aspirant should know the contents of the syllabus and after that, they should prepare a detailed timetable — they should start by focusing on concepts which have been covered earlier in their school but allocate more time to those concepts that they find to be difficult. So, the timetable should be made keeping in mind these priorities.”

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CAT comprises three sections: Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning; and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and have a weightage of 72, 60 and 66 marks respectively. The total duration of the exam is 120 minutes with 40 minutes for each section. Dr Mogla suggests some tips for each of them:

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

This comprises Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Advanced Mathematics. This is already covered by students in Classes VIII, IX, and X. But you need to revise all formulae and mathematical theories carefully. In this section, you are required to do heavy calculations and spend the maximum time to ensure accuracy. But if you end up taking too much time to do the calculations, you will not be able to complete your paper. So, you need to learn shortcuts for mathematical calculations. Attempt the easier questions first.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

This section is reasoning-based. You don’t need to learn formulae for this part. You need to be able to understand the questions and do some simple calculations. Practice will help you attain mastery in this.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

For this section, students need to be well-versed in English vocabulary. Try learning new words on a daily basis and practise using them in sentences. You should also practise reading comprehension to be able to complete the section on time.

Coaching or self-study?

Professional coaching is easily available. You can also opt for online coaching nowadays. A student should register for coaching in advance. But if you prefer self-study, you can supplement it by taking online tests and tutorials. If you are preparing for CAT on your own, you need to devote more time to preparing the required notes and revisions. When you are guided by professionals, you are already provided with a planned curriculum, which gives you an edge.

Mock tests

Aspirants should go through the entire syllabus at least two-three times. Once you have done that and you feel confident about your preparation only then should you take mock tests. These can be provided by your coaching centre. Those studying on their own can take mock tests online. Mock tests help bring down the stress level that you normally experience during an exam. It also helps you learn how to manage your time. Further, it helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly.

It is not necessary to take mock tests in totality. You can also take sectional mock tests for areas that you are weak in.

Increase speed

For effective time management for CAT, you must increase speed. And the best way to achieve this is through constant practice. Mock tests are helpful in ensuring speed and accuracy.

SWOT analysis

You should do a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat (SWOT) analysis at every stage of your preparation on your own because the results will alter as you move closer to the exam. 

You should always revise the basic concepts; don’t take them for granted. Having your basics clear is ultimately going to determine accuracy. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.